Skip to navigation Skip to content

Be inspired by fine antiques and works of art

Contrast contemporary British art with the works of past masters in Bournemouth, view Durham’s rich collection of textiles and ceramics at the Shipley Art Gallery, travel to Malta to see the great works of Caravaggio, Annigoni and Caruan Dingli, or learn more about the fascinating history behind the tiara during an antique master class in Harrogate.

The holidays in this collection are designed to inform and inspire, and are an ideal choice whether you have a growing interest or a real passion for the world of art and antiques. Informative talks by your expert hosts will prepare you for your included visits, so you can gain a greater understanding, and even discover something new.

What do you think sparked your interest in art? Have you always been interested? Where did you learn about art and acquire the knowledge you convey to guests?

I have painted for all of my life and am also a professional artist after having spent 5 years at art college and studying art history to. I have always been fascinated in colour and light, as well as being interested in lots of different artists and what influenced and inspired them.

You yourself are an artist – do you think this influences the way in which you appreciate art at all?

Absolutely, because when I look at a painting I am looking from the perspective of an artist who understands the work that has gone into it and how it has been created, and I can also enjoy it as a viewer and see the overall power of the piece.

What do you think is the most interesting/ exciting part of your job?

It is as simple as just being involved in the art world. There is so much variety and I really feel that art is such an important aspect of people’s lives. It broadens your outlook on life.

Art appreciation is subjective – what advice would you give to someone who perhaps isn’t as open to experiencing new and different types of art?

I would say just be open. Be as open as you can be just to experiencing new art and then decide afterwards how you feel about it. I feel doing this helps you to look at the world in a different way and see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Where is your favourite place to go for art appreciation? And do any particular holidays stand out as firm customer favourites?

I feel that Liverpool has some great art collections – there are some wonderful art collections in that part of the country.

I find it hard to pick one particular holiday that stands out as they are all so different. In the UK I particularly like the Liverpool holidays. I also love the art holiday in Malta; I feel it’s worth going just to see the Caravaggio paintings. It’s fascinating and more historical.

Do you have any interesting stories or anecdotes from your time hosting Saga art appreciation holidays?

On one holiday I had a very traditional guest who was unsure about visiting a conceptual exhibition in the programme. We had a conversation beforehand about how she could be more open too it and when she came out of the exhibition she had absolutely loved it! I have seen her on various art tours since and she now loves conceptual art and art installations.

I feel that of the guests that come on the tours, people always find that there is something for everyone. Having the talks in the evening really help prepare people. We might talk about a particular artist, art movement or specific pieces and so people can go and look for things that they might otherwise have missed – they find it really valuable!